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DEFENSIVE TACKLES begin to come of age…

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Bruce, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. Bruce

    Bruce Cheesehead

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    DEFENSIVE TACKLES begin to come of age…

    Ryan Pickett is a big man who earned every penny of his hefty new contract with Green Bay. Pickett gives Green Bay something Grady Jackson never could – a big man who can play as often as needed without having to take plays off.

    Ryan led the defensive line in tackles per play and tied for 2nd in tackles for loss. He refused to be blocked by a single man and dominated nearly every attempt by any team to do so. He was equally stout against double teams – stacking and shedding with the best of them.

    [​IMG]

    One area that demonstrates his high effort non-stop motor is found in his batting 5 passes down, three more than anyone on the club.

    [​IMG]

    Only 27 years old, Ryan Pickett at 6-2, 335 lbs was a great free agent pickup who should pay deep dividends for years to come. With a season under his belt in this system, I expect even greater things from this big man in '07'

    =========================================================

    Corey Williams started the 2006 season slowly, buried on the depth chart, and late in the rotation system. Thankfully, this did not sit well with Corey After having a fire lit under his sizable arse, Williams took over the starting job for 11 of the last 13 games and played 63% of the snaps in Weeks 9-16. Corey provides the Packers with a power pass rusher up the middle of the field.

    Williams strong finish ended up with him ranking second on the club in sacks with seven – which may come as a surprise to many who don’t pay attention to the dirty work delivered in the trenches play in and play out.

    [​IMG]
    Corey not only provides push up the middle he can close the deal.

    Perhaps the best thing about 26 year old Corey Williams is at 6-4, 320 lbs is that he is a workout warrior with an attitude that will help him continue to grow and develop

    =========================================================

    Cullen Jenkins is a RFA this season. Ted Thompson has an opportunity to lock up this hard working undrafted free agent who has grown into quite the little specialist for the long haul or he can lock him down with a single season tender and work from there.

    Cullen started the season rather slowly and then an ankle injury put him on the shelf for a couple of games and limited him in others. However, once inserted into a larger role after finally getting healthy in the San Francisco game Jenkins caught fire. Jenkins has a great first step and whether lined up at DE on early downs or a DT on passing downs he knows how to get into opposition’s backfields.

    [​IMG]

    Cullen led the squad in “pressures” per snap with one every 15 down played and finished third in tackles per down played with one tackle for every 8 ½ downs played. TT can count on Jenkins, who is only 25 years old, 6-3, and 295 lbs drawing attention from a number of clubs, and will need to pick his tender offer wisely if he hopes to retain this talented DE/DT who was a monster down the stretch.

    =========================================================

    Colin Cole was a regular part of the defensive line rotation – playing on 38.5% of the snaps. Despite his limited playing time he finished tied for second on the team in tackles for loss (3 1/2) and was second in tackles per play -- one every 7.6 snaps.

    [​IMG]

    Colin, like Jenkins was an undrafted blue collar player who has had to earn his roster spot each season. At 6-2 330 lbs he has the beef to plug the middle, but has not reach a level of consistency that the coaches believe he has in him. He has a very impressive bull rush, but sometimes gets lost at the point of attack. Cole knows the odds of making it in the NFL where everyone is fighting for a job, and as such, can be counted on to be the first-one-in and the last-one-out of off season workout programs a voluntary practice sessions during the off season.

    Unlike Washington, Cole understands and has the ability to play with a low pad level and with leverage. He needs to get better at taking on double teams and holding his ground. At only 26 years old he still has room to grow and develop – he has every other season since he first donned the Green and Gold.

    =========================================================

    Johnny Jolly (23) was an interesting rookie chosen by TT in the 6th round. At 6-3, 320 lbs Johnny is a classic nose tackle who plays with attitude and a mean streak. He did not have a lot of opportunities – only suiting up for 6 games – but he surprised me with his hustle and toughness in the limited snaps he got. He may not be starting material, but he seems to have what it takes to challenge for time in the Packers DT rotation system and to contribute.

    [​IMG]

    At 23 he will benefit from a season of hard work in the strength and training program and may surprise me and his teammates with an even harder push for time on the field.

    =========================================================

    Kenderick Allen has been one of those guys that wows you without the pads on but puts you to sleep once they strap them on. Now in fairness he was playing hurt before being jettisoned to the IR for the ¾ of the season.

    Kendrick (28) has great size at 6-5 330 + and does have experience playing in the NFL. I believe he will be an unrestricted free agent this season, but the way the staff has invested in working with him on his recovery I would not be surprised to see him signed and come back to battle for a spot on the roster.
     
  2. Popcynical

    Popcynical Cheesehead

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    I'm confident that with the chemistry we built last year, these guys are really gonna be able to show what they can really do next year.
     
  3. umair

    umair Cheesehead

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    i thing our d as a whole(pass and rush) will be a top 10 ten d for sure if not better. near the end of the season they really played great football.
     
  4. porky88

    porky88 Cheesehead

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    Something to keep in mind about Johnny Jolley is had he not been injured heading into the Draft he likely would of been a 3rd or 4th round pick. Because of an injury there was some thought he’d be placed on IR right away so the consensus was he may not get drafted at all.

    The Packers took a chance on him by Drafting him and he's been working very hard to get back into his playing shape. We are yet to see the best of Johnny Jolley and he could really be someone who steps up and gets a guy like Colin Cole or Kendrick Allen released come training camp. He's someone to keep an eye on.

    Nice Job Bruce!
     
  5. Bruce

    Bruce Cheesehead

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    Thanks porky! I wrote what I believe to be a killer piece (the next in the series) on the WR's that I will post over here next week.

    I agree that Jolly has upside and far more attitude (the good kind) than I saw from him in college. That does bode well for him, making this competetive DT platoon will be quite an accomplishment.

    If Jolly works on his strength, he could make another leap forward.
     
  6. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    great article bruce. i have the same high hopes for our defense. our dline rotation worked great and we were a pretty decent defense by the end of the year. i believe if we can keep this group of guys working together, and if we can find a competant (sp?) safety to replace marquand manual, we will have ALL the makings of a top ten defense.
     
  7. Packersfan43084

    Packersfan43084 Cheesehead

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    I think Corey William's sack total is a bit misleading. He got them all in bunches. 3 against Buffalo and 2 against Detroit. So while he did get 7 sacks, he wasn't getting them over the course of the season...If that makes any sense to you guys :)
     
  8. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    Very good piece, Bruce. One problem I do have with our DT's, though, is that our defense did not do well at all in third-and-short and fourth-and-short situations. For this reason, I wonder if it would be worthwhile to spend a high draft pick on a DT to play alongside Pickett, should one be available when the Packers make their pick.

    Opinions?
     
  9. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    i don't think we ought to spend a high draft pick on a DT. on a safety?
     
  10. Bruce

    Bruce Cheesehead

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    How does that make them misleading? It means he was applying big time pressure and had two multiple sack games -- which is a good thing. 7 sacks for a DT playing less than 2/3 of the time is impressive.
     
  11. Bruce

    Bruce Cheesehead

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    TT will not and should not approach the draft with a position need dictating his pick. He and the staff will develop a weighted board with best players available in a descending ranking. The weighting will be slight adjustments for team need, but not enough to knock them off players who they think are the best players available falling into that slot.

    Unless a monster DT fell to them and was by far the best pick available, I do not see this draft producing a first day pick for the Packers.
     
  12. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    Ted doesn't draft per need. He drafts the best player available.
     
  13. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    Agreed. I was not suggesting that Thompson "reach" for a DT in the draft. This team has too many needs for that kind of draft strategy.
     
  14. Bruce

    Bruce Cheesehead

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    True. If the draft were held today the Packers biggest needs roughly in order would be:

    Positions listed under same number are interchangeable...

    1.) Tight End -- needs a talent infusion and upgrade;
    1.) Safety -- Manuel has to go to the bench if not the waiver wire;
    1.) CB -- may need as many as two (one on each day of the draft;

    2.) HB -- even if Green is re-signed;
    2.) WR -- as injuries have demonstrated the last two seasons a team can never have enough playmakers at WR;

    3.) DE -- even if Jenkins is re-signed and KGB is retained, depth needs to improve;
    3.) LT -- Clifton will still hold the job for a few years, but no depth is a problem and no prospective heir if he should go down currently exisits;
    3.) G -- keep the competition intense and hungry as this position grows and develops;

    4.) QB -- If Favre retires this move up to 1 or 2, regardless Ingle and Rodgers need someone to push on them;
    4.) FB -- Hendo is likely finally done in Green and Gold, bring in a big guy to compete for the opening;

    5.) LB -- depth is always needed as well as insurance policies against injuries;
    5.) DT -- see above, unless a monster falls into the Packers lap early on day 1;
    5.) K -- may be worth a late pick (punter looks set).
     
  15. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    Bruce,

    If this is part 3 in a series, then where are parts 1 and 2? I don't remember seeing them. A hungry off-season audience demands more!
     
  16. CaliforniaCheez

    CaliforniaCheez Cheesehead

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    The Packers had a lot of D linemen last year. Rotating them has worked but soon some will require much larger contracts.
    Allen is unsigned
    Jenkins will be.
    What Jenkins gets in his contract will affect Cole and Williams demands.
    Jolly did better than expected and will improve.
    I predicted a trade last year and if there is no injury to the group it is likely again.
    While there is an advantage to this abundance of players it should be viewed as a temporary situation and one that Ted Thompson would not be opposed to improving.
     
  17. retiredgrampa

    retiredgrampa Cheesehead

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    It is a blessing to have this amount of depth so we can rotate players. That means the DL will not be worn out in the 4th quarter. Yet, we don't have a truly disrupting DL in the Freeny mode. But these guys are young yet and should improve. We could be MUCH worse off. If TT can build the secondary, we'd have a scary unit.
     

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